How To Cook Frozen Chicken Legs?

Legs are the most nutritional and tasty part of a chicken. They are mostly available in frozen form and take a long time to defrost. What if you are craving chicken legs and cannot wait for even a minute to eat them? You must be wondering how to cook frozen chicken legs without thawing. There are many methods you can use to directly cook chicken legs from frozen such as baking them.

Baking will save you from the hassle of defrosting the chicken legs in the refrigerator or microwave. As a result, you will also have the dish ready quite quickly. You just need to keep a few things in mind such as heating the chicken at the right temperature and using the right seasonings.

Cooking Frozen Chicken Legs Rightly

Letting the chicken thaw at room temperature provides a conducive environment for bacteria to grow. Cooking the frozen chicken directly without defrosting is one way of avoiding it. The meat will thaw while being cooked preventing the bacteria from proliferating.

It is also suitable to cook frozen chicken legs if you only need to cook one or two legs at a time. It may be more troublesome to defrost chicken legs before cooking than it is beneficial.

However, it takes considerably more time to cook frozen chicken. For example, you have to cook it for 20 minutes more or 50% longer depending on the cooking method and size.

How to Add Seasonings to Frozen Chicken Legs?

You should never apply seasonings to frozen chicken legs. Frozen meat does not absorb the flavor, heat, and aroma you are trying to impart to your dish. What you can do is add all the seasonings you want before freezing the meat.

Sometimes, you are in a haste and don’t have time to add seasonings before putting the chicken legs in the freezer. In this case, you can partially defrost the chicken legs using a cold water bath or microwave. Thawing chicken in a microwave for a couple of minutes will keep the interior frozen while defrosting the exterior. Now, you can apply seasonings to the legs. However, it will not coat the legs evenly, and therefore, you must cook them immediately.

How to Bake Frozen Chicken Legs?

You can cook frozen chicken legs with or without applying seasonings. It is better to go for the first option if you failed to add seasonings before freezing the legs.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Now put the chicken along with other seasonings, liquids, or vegetables in a pan and place it in the oven. The best combination in our opinion is the chicken legs, lemon juice, crushed garlic, olive oil, marjoram, and oregano. You can add carrot pieces and potatoes if you like.

You can also use a combination of minced garlic, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice if you want to keep things simple.

Cook chicken legs for 50 to 60 minutes and you will have a perfectly baked and mouthwatering dish to eat.

Use an Instant-Read Thermometer

It is difficult to keep track of time while cooking. Therefore, you must use an instant-read thermometer to ensure chicken legs are perfectly cooked and not over or undercooked. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken leg should be 165° F otherwise it is not safe to eat. You should never touch the bones while taking a reading as well.

Chicken juices run clear and the chicken itself becomes firmer and white. The meat near the bones tends to remain pink when fully cooked in younger chickens though.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Legs in Air Fryer?

It is pretty easy to cook frozen chicken legs in an air fryer. You just have to follow these instructions.

  • Apply some oil to the interior of the basket of the air fryer
  • Now, put frozen chicken legs in the basket
  • Heat your air fryer to 360° F
  • Cook chicken legs for at least 15 minutes
  • Add one-third of the seasoning on top of the chicken
  • Flip the chicken legs and add one-third of the seasonings
  • You can flip the legs using a tong.
  • Now cook for another 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the chicken legs
  • Apply some oil to the top and add the remaining seasonings
  • Cook for another 5 minutes or until the legs become crisp
  • Check for the internal temperature of the legs. It should be 165° F.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook chicken legs from frozen?

Yes, you can cook chicken legs from frozen. However, they will take 50% more time to cook in addition to ruining the seasonings. Similarly, there is a greater degree of uncertainty that frozen chicken legs can achieve perfect internal temperature after being fully cooked.

What happens if you don’t defrost the chicken before cooking?

You can safely cook the chicken without defrosting it. Sometimes, however, it fails to achieve the desired internal temperature because the inner parts of the chicken remain undercooked compared to the outer parts. Therefore, it can contain harmful bacteria.

How long to cook frozen chicken legs in the oven?

If preheated to 400°F, the frozen chicken legs will take approximately 50-60 minutes to cook in an oven. It is also advisable to use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure it cooks to perfection.

Final Thoughts

So, you now know how to cook frozen chicken legs. It takes relatively longer to cook chicken legs from freezing. But – they are perfectly safe to eat and you can make them more delicious by cooking them using the methods mentioned above.

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